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Obligation

As a student, it is very good for you to want to do everything you can to assist your sensei. However, you must be very careful not to obligate your sensei.

If you obligate your sensei, he will feel like he owes you, and this is inappropriate. You must assist in a way that shows that you have no expectation of praise or reward.

If you teach juniors, your reward is the opportunity to learn. If you clean the dojo, you are also polishing your spirit. Everything in the dojo is designed to encourage you to work on yourself. Your reward is your own progress.

If your sensei thanks you, you should immediately thank him for teaching you.

My wife is Filipino. In Tagalog, there is a term: "nanunuat." I may not have spelled it correctly, but it captures the idea of when a person says "look at me, I am helping you." Don't be nanunuat.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin